Wetting Agent on C41 processed color negatives?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Iridium, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Iridium

    Iridium Member

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    Hello,

    Maybe it's a silly question, but I wanna be sure 100% before doing that.

    I received a few dirty negatives from the lab. In particular you can see in the light that the gelatin surface is a bit hazy with traces from sponge all over and stains along the edges (possibly dried chemicals). Thus, I think to give them a wash again using my b&w reel and tank. May I put wetting agent in the water? Any other idea on cleaning then thoroughly?

    Regards,
    Iridium
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    For C41 processed negatives, you need some sort of stabilizer as the final solution. It contains a wetting agent, but it also contains a something like formalin, to prevent bacteria from destroying your negatives.

    What type of negatives are you talking about?
     
  3. Iridium

    Iridium Member

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    They are 120 color negatives (REALA, PORTRA). I thought about this final bath for the colored negs and that's why I asked. Thus, shouldn't I use wetting agent (Agepon) in the water to wash away the traces from the surface?
     
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The issue is wheather Agepon contains enough biocides to protect a silverless emulsion, or just enough for its own protection as concentrate or stock solution.
    (Though with images based on silver, the protecting silvercontent also varies over the image.)

    Anyway, at the plant once making Agepon the chemists themselves had no idea on that issue, it was new to them.
    It may be very academic indeed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2013
  5. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    From what I've read on this site, any wash on color materials should probably be followed by a proper stabilization. Otherwise, the wash can remove the protection that was there.

    At some point I will be printing some old color negatives from my childhood, and they will need to be cleaned. I intend to end with a stabilization bath.
     
  6. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    First I would try to remove the contaminants by gently wiping the non-emulsion side with a sponge barely moistened in distilled water. If it is more serious, or if it affects the emulsion side as well, then you need to wash the film, followed by a couple of minutes' rinse in stabilizer. Stabilizer concentrate is quite inexpensive.
     
  7. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    I have been developing my own C-41 for a couple years using the Tetenal-Jobo "press kits", and invariably, if I use the stabilizer, mixed as directed, I end up with white crap all over the negatives. This is regardless of using or not using photo-flo in the stabilizer mix. There must be some trick to using it successfully that I am unaware of. Lately, I have been mixing the stabilizer up as directed, but add only a splash of it to a regular photo-flo rinse at the end. That's the best I've come up with. Time will tell, if I have done enough. But I'll be dead.
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The stabilizer is there for a reason.

    I know it sounds like sacrilege to some, but there is nothing wrong with wiping the excess stabilizer off the film to avoid those white spots from forming. Ideally, the stabilizer should not impart those white spots to begin with, so maybe that's user- or product-error that needs to be corrected. When I develop C41 at home, I have used many different types of chemistry, and I have given a final rinse in the stabilizer, followed by wiping the entire length of the film, on both sides, with an extremely soft and supple rubber edge. Negatives are squeaky clean and not a single scratch.

    But use the stabilizer as directed, or that gelatin and the dyes will become food for bacteria and other critters. It's just a matter of time.
     
  9. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    You can get 1 part stablizers, originally intended for minilab use, it is the cheapest part of minilab chemistry, pretty much anywhere in the world, and i am sure tetenal and trebla are available there. Champion photochemistry also might be available.
     
  10. Iridium

    Iridium Member

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    I will ask from the lab to give me a little bit of stabilizer.

    Therefore, after loading the film on the reel, should I first immerse it in the water without wetting agent for a few minutes and then a final bath in the stabilizer mix before hanging it to dry?

    Or maybe first try to "...remove the contaminants by gently wiping the non-emulsion side with a sponge barely moistened in distilled water"?
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    First wash the film after it comes out of the fix / blix. Then stabilizer. (Remove excess stabilizer at this stage if desired). Hang to dry.
     
  12. Iridium

    Iridium Member

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    Thanx, but the film is already processed. I want only remove the contaminants on the gelatin. Thus, I'll wash first and then I'll put it in the stabilizer and I hope that something good will happen...:tongue:
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You will certainly do your film no harm by doing this. Better late than never.
    Any damage done will not be reversible most likely. But do what you can.
     
  14. mklw1954

    mklw1954 Member

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    I use the Unicolor powder kit. With the first kit I used the stabilizer as-is and got white drying marks (interestingly, only on 35mm film, not on 120 film). With the second kit, I added 1/2 teaspoon PhotoFlo concentrate to 1 liter of stabilizer and it eliminated the white drying marks. I found I had to add another 1/2 teaspoon PhotoFlo concentrate after 10 rolls of film (I get a total of 15 rolls from a 1-liter kit).
     
  15. BillZ

    BillZ Member

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    I just happened upon this site and this brings back memories.

    I worked along with with Bob Chapman at Unicolor in the mid-70's. There is alot I have forgotten specifically about the various formulas, but K2 stabilizer contained a wetting agent (like Photo-flo), formaldehyde, and probably a pH adjuster.

    Soak the negatives gently and allow the emulsion to swell and then use stabilizer. To minimize spotting, you can carefully wipe the negative with a photo-grade spong soaked in stabilizer (but wring out excess stabilizer) to remove excess solution to minimize spots. The emulsion will absorb the stabilizer it needs to protect the dyes.

    Bill